IN PHOTO: Mayor John Gayle (middle) honors Sgt. Joel Hurley (left of mayor) and Capt. Matt O’Steen, surrounded by their family members and VPD staff, at the Oct. 6 City Council meeting.
Valdosta Mayor John Gayle and Police Chief Brian Childress honored Capt. Matt O’Steen and Sgt. Joel Hurley as the October 2016 Employees of the Month at the Oct. 6 City Council meeting. Capt. O’Steen and Sgt. Hurley each received a framed certificate and a check for $200, and their names appear on a plaque displayed in City Hall.
Capt. O’Steen oversees the operation of the Uniform Patrol Division, prepares monthly reports and approves reports completed by other personnel, and participates in the policy making for the department. Sgt. Hurley patrols areas within the city, supervises patrol officers and reviews written reports from patrol officers.
In August 2016, the officers were dispatched to a shooting incident on Hamilton Street. Upon their arrival, they found a citizen lying on the ground unresponsive with a gunshot wound to the chest. The officers immediately started first-aid but were unable to detect a pulse, indicating that the man was not breathing. Capt. O’Steen and Sgt. Hurley began taking turns administering CPR until EMS arrived on the scene. After a few minutes, the citizen began breathing on his own. Capt. O’Steen and Sgt. Hurley did exactly what they were trained to do by quickly accessing the situation and administering CPR. These two law enforcement professionals were instrumental in saving the man’s life.
“While we have less crime now in our city than we had over a decade ago, it is still unfortunate that we would have any level of crime in our city,” said Chief of Police Brian Childress. “But, fortunately, we have highly-skilled and trained officers who, on a daily basis, risk their own lives to save the lives of others. I applaud the entire Valdosta Police Department for this admirable commitment, and especially these two officers being honored this month.”
The City of Valdosta honors Capt. Matt O’Steen and Sgt. Joel Hurley for being named the October 2016 Employees of the Month, an award they received for demonstrating earnest dedication and law enforcement skills in protecting the community and saving lives.